Medicine Bow Peak, WY Airliner Crash, Oct 1955
OAKLAND-BOUND PLANE CRASHES; FEAR 64 DEAD.
Airliner Hits Peak, Explodes; Rescuers on Way to Wreck; May Be Worst Civil Air Crash.
An Oakland-bound United Air Lines DC-4 smashed into a snow-covered, 12,000-foot peak in southern Wyoming today and apparently killed all 64 persons aboard in what probably is the worst civil air disaster in United States history.
The four-engined plane apparently hit near the top of Medicine Bow Peak, 35 to 40 miles west of Laramie, Wyo., and exploded into flames.
Pilots of the 44th Air Rescue Squadron who flew over the crash scene said the plane disintegrated and that it seemed impossible for any of the 61 passengers and three crew members to have survived.
Ground crews were expected to reach the crash site shortly after noon.
AIR COACH FLIGHT.
The plane, an air coach flight which took off from New York's International Airport last night, was due in Oakland at 10:55 a. m., then was to terminate at San Francisco.
Air line officials said it would take "some time" to check the places where the plane stopped and to compile an accurate list of the 61 passengers.
But five passengers aboard the plane were believed to be members of the famed Salt Lake City Mormon Tabernacle choir, returning home from a concert tour of Europe.
They were identified unofficially in Salt Lake City as MRS. ENDON C. SCHOW, of Bountiful, Utah; and MRS. DONALD A. KIRK, MRS. B. RAY SEARLE, MRS. CHARLES SMURTHWAITE and MRS. VICTOR J. BECK, all of Salt Lake City.
Four other passengers were identified unofficially as MRS. DARRELL TUCKER, of Ogden; her 21 month old daughter, and MRS. GEORGIA M. WEST, of Salt Lake City, and her son, EARL.
CREWMEN FROM BAY.
The three crew members were indentified[sic] as:
Capt. CLINT C. COOKE, 35, 1135 San Mateo Drive, Menlo Park.
First Officer RALPH D. SALISBURY, 33, 981 Blair Court, Palo Alto.
Stewardess MISS PATRICIA SHUTTLEWORTH, 22, Salt Lake City.
COOKE lived at the Menlo Park address with his wife, ALLEE and his two children, CAROLYN, 9, and JAMES, 5. He had been with U.A.L. Since 1943. He had been a flight instructor in the Air Force. His parents, MR. And MRS. C. C. COOKE, SR., live in Cordell, Okla.
Continued on page 2